Like most of you, we’ve taken time lately to listen, reflect, talk and research. We have felt anger, frustration, shame and deep heartbreak that has brought us to our knees. We live in a city with a long history of systemic racism and injustice; our office is in a predominantly black neighborhood: we don’t have to look far for ways to better ourselves and our community. It’s overwhelming to know where to start, but when things are overwhelming we tend to bring it home. We start small with what we know and we build from there. We look inward at ourselves, our families and our community to determine how we can improve, and where we can help. It’s an endless journey, but in the name of accountability and transparency, here are a few things we are committing to do in the immediate future.
As parents, we’re working hard to raise aware, just, loving children. We’re having tough talks and leaning on recommended books about racism (A Kid’s Book About Racism, Something Happened in Our Town, We’re Different, We’re the Same) and activism (check out these 40 Picture Books for Young Activists and Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History), while filling our home libraries with characters of all color (Whose Knees Are These, Lola at the Library, The Color of Us, Last Stop on Market Street). We’re gaining perspective from following @themomtrotter, @hereweeread and @theconsciouskid, while educating ourselves with local follows @charlestonactivistnetwork and @geecheeexperience. We’re reading this book about Charleston hero Denmark Vesey and following the work of Gullah artist Jonathan Green.
As a Charleston business, we choose to focus our support locally, volunteering within the community and giving to local nonprofits. We are longtime supporters of the Charleston Forum, started in reaction to the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting, which continues to work towards better race relations in Charleston. We are excited to be Charter Members of the new International African American Museum, currently being constructed near our office, which promises to be an incredible source of education, awareness and understanding. We are sponsoring female students in our neighborhood through the Y Girls Code program, launched by local YWCA with the mission to “economically empower girls, especially girls of color, by enabling them to enter a traditionally white male industry that pays high wages.” We also recommend giving to the ACLU of South Carolina, the Charleston NAACP, this local bail out fund and committing to support Black owned restaurants on Fridays.
We’re calling our local politicians to ensure our voices are heard by those in power. This site uses your location and area of interest to tell you exactly who to call (and what to say). Right now, we’re focused on police reform, especially these 8 policies.
The South Carolina Primaries are next Tuesday June 9, and June 5th is the last day to register for an absentee ballot. Everyone is eligible, so print your application (select absentee reason 18-State of Emergency) and email it to your county registration office Friday June 5th by 5pm. Your ballot should arrive in time for you to return it by 7pm Tuesday. If you plan to vote in person next week, be sure to bring a photo ID, mask, and your own pen for signing the poll list. Use this site to research and compare candidates in your district.
Our ears are open, so let us know how you are making a difference and what more you recommend. Also, help us share these resources by forwarding to a friend.